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Kuna smart home security light review: A great product, but consider the full cost

Michael Brown | June 3, 2016
You’ll want one of these at every entry point, but yikes! Those subscription fees!

If you don’t want to use your own voice—if you’d prefer not to reveal your gender, for instance—you can push a button to play three pre-recorded messages in a male voice: “Can I help you?” “I’m sorry, we’re not interested,” and “I’m sorry, we’re pretty busy right now.” If your unwanted visitor proves reluctant to leave, you can sound a 100dB klaxon that should do the trick. 

You should be aware, however, that the only voice the recordings will capture is from the person on the other side of the door. A Kuna spokesperson told me the mic doesn't record what you are saying because it would create an echo.

About those subscriptions

The subscription fee isn’t particularly onerous—$4.99 per month if you pay for service a full year at a time—but that’s a per camera fee (and it jumps to $7.49 if billed monthly). A 14-day free trial is included, which will convince you in short order that you want the full Monty. If you decide you love the Kuna so much you want to add one to your back door, too, you’ll want to move up to the $9.99-per-month plan, which is good for up to four cameras. Now you can deploy a camera at your garage door as well as another entry point for good measure. If you live in a very large home, you can deploy up to eight Kuna lights and pay $19.99 per month.

All three service plans include unlimited video downloads, lifetime theft protection (if someone has the audacity to steal your light, Kuna will replace it for free), and discounts on future device purchases (five, 10, and 15 percent respectively). Video retention time also increases as you move up the three plans: Seven days with the base plan, 14 days with the midrange plan, and 30 days for the most-expensive plan.

Our recommendation

At $200, the Kuna costs about the same as a budget porch light and an outdoor home security camera, but it’s far easier to install than buying those two devices separately considering that they both need electrical power. The hardware and the software are excellent. But you’ll quickly discover that the “optional” subscription fee is more of a requirement than a choice, because two hours of look-back time and three downloads per month won’t be adequate if you suffer a break-in and want forensic evidence to help the police find the perp.

The $4.99-per-month plan is reasonable if you can resist the temptation to add a second unit, but most people won’t. And adding just one more camera doubles your monthly commitment. Yes, you can add three more cameras once you step up, but Kuna doesn’t offer any indoor models, leaving a hole in your coverage. We’d rate the Kuna higher if the base plan supported two cameras. As for the top-of-the-line eight-camera service, you should consider a full-blown connected-home/security system with a professional monitoring service attached at that point. You’ll pay a little more, but you’ll get a lot more than just perimeter video security.

 

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